It is a rare that one can say that something exciting for tax whistleblowers has occurred with the proposed budget. However, today is that day. On March 25th, Senator Wicker submitted amendment S.AMDT.620, which is co-sponsored by Senator Grassley. According to Senator Wicker’s press release, “This amendment calls for the IRS to speed up the award process for those who come forward with information on tax evasion.”

The amendment was formally proposed today, March 27th, and agreed to in the Senate by unanimous consent. The Senate agreed to the budget resolution, with amendments, by a vote of 52 to 46 at 3:19 AM. We will be following the legislation as the budget process continues.

The language of the amendment reads:

SA 620. Mr. WICKER (for himself and Mr. Grassley) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the concurrent resolution S. Con. Res. 11, setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2016 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2017 through 2025; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:

SEC. ___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND TO EXPEDITE AWARDS UNDER THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE WHISTLEBLOWER PROGRAM.

The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution for one or more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to the processing of award submissions, which may include the Internal Revenue Service whistleblower program, by the amounts provided in such legislation for that purpose, provided that such legislation would not increase the deficit over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2016 through 2020 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2016 through 2025. 

  • FCA Aficionado

    Sadly, though a nice step for those that may see a reward pop out of the IRS’ Byzantine whistleblower award process, this does nothing to encourage potential WB’s like me to risk life, limb, career, and family well-being to file a Form 211.

    Very few potential WB’s like me, are going to feel heartened enough to move, knowing that a reward coming through a hostile minefield of a system now seemingly scrupulously designed to reflect the anti-WB bias of former commissioner Donald Korb (who still thinks the WB Program is anti-American) to deny or minimize rewards by rejecting the expansive view advocated by Sen. Grassley.

    As long as the IRS keeps the welcome mat in the box and the Open For Business sign off its home page, no words from the commissioner or 6-month late publication of last year’s WBO report are going to motivate folks to come forward.

    The IRS, clearly doesn’t want help (yet seems opportunisticly willing to cherry-pick info and then claim “we already knew, or would have known) and knows the signal effect borne of its intransparancy, intransigence, inhospitability, and all the other malicious things done to cripple the program and drive away leads is working, because actions speak louder than fine testimony or false-flag regulations (only an asshat bent on disincentivising citizen tipsters would have dared promulgate.)

  • Bubba Shawn

    Thank you Erika,

    What is the probability that Commissioner Koskinen is going to prevent the Chief Counsel Office lawyers from parsing the word “expedited”?

    I suppose we should be grateful that another Senator is on board with Senator Grassley and that 100 Senators supported Senator Wicker’s amendment.

  • Myheadhurtz

    It’s great that the Senate passed this and I am sure the House will pass this also. But arent we back to square one when Obama said he was going to veto the budget and not enough Republicans to override the veto?

  • Myheadhurtz

    We are in the 8th month of 2015 fiscal year. Why isnt the IRS annual report for 2014 not out yet?

  • Myheadhurtz

    Has there been any new news? Every time I look, there isnt anything new. I feel like lately anything regarding whistleblowers has fallen off the face of the earth.

  • Linda Williams

    Dear Myheadhurtz,

    It’s 8 and half years since the IRS Whistleblower Program legislation was passed in Congress….the Whistleblower Program effectively died about 3 years ago. Only legislative amendments significantly more than those proposed in the budget amendment above will make any difference. So much for the ‘John Koskinen just luvs the IRS Whistleblower Program’……….this is the latest any annual report to Congress has been. When it does come out the usual ‘cut and paste’ effort will only confirm 12-14 awards, several thousand rejected whistleblower admissions after 3-5 years waiting and several hundred held in suspension for no apparent reason. The same old same old.

    As I said in February;

    The IRS Whistleblower Program is a bit like one of those old mining towns on the edge of the Colorado Rockies in the late 1890’s that the railroad has passed by, inhabited by tumbleweed and a few hardy soles still hanging on in the blind faith that some day the silver mine will start producing again ……but never does.

    After 8 years there are still a few hardy soles out there who think the IRS Whistleblower Program is going to come good…………problem is the railroad has passed the IRS Whistleblower Program by and their going to be waiting a long long time for an IRS Whistleblower Program that’s never going to come good.

    Even Senator Grassley and his chief advisors have lost interest. Remember all the letters the Senator sent and the ensuing “roundtable” discussions his staff had with the IRS 2 years ago?